One For The Road ( story ) … Stephen King

The title refers to the flask of brandy a man named Booth brings along as he, his friend Tookey and a stranger named Lumley venture out into a winter blizzard to rescue Lumley’s wife and daughter. They’re stranded in his car, stuck in the snow, “six miles south” of Tookey’s Bar.

This is a tale, straight-forward but for a funny flashback about a drunken pulp truck driver, that might’ve been even more engrossing than it is if it’s concept weren’t buried in vampiric folklore. The plot rolls along a path of realism until the end, where it starts to get silly.

my rating : 4 of 5

1977

review : Night Shift ( book ) ... Stephen King

audio review : McCartney 3 ( album ) … Paul McCartney

audio review : McCartney 3 ( album ) ... Paul McCartney

This album should’ve come out in 1990, but it’s better 30 years late than never. Linda is long gone, so this is literally Paul McCartney on his own. That means every song is by him with no other vocalists or musicians, like Phil Collins did for Both Sides, with the exception of Abe Laboriel and Rusty Anderson on Slidin.

Women And Wives; a topic Paul McCartney is well-versed in; sounds pretty enough, but the best song here is a nighttime party prepper entitled Deep Down. Led by what sounds like jazzy pipe organs, it’s the album’s royal flush, though it’s the beginning and ending Winter Birds that provide the overall theme.

my rating : 3 of 5

2020

audio review : The Lady In My Life ( song ) … Michael Jackson

The Lady In most people’s lives, at least at the beginning, is their mother, but Michael Jackson isn’t singing about Katherine. This is a song about a girlfriend. “Lay your body close to mine,” he croons with strong sexual undertones, “I can make you feel alright.”

It’s mostly about “love” though; the romantic kind that can make a gentleman resort to bombastic schoolyard poetry in order to express his true feelings. He and she become not just a couple but “two hearts in a beat of ecstasy”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Sweet nothings can be awwfully charming though, especially when they’re winter-blanketed in funky grooves and gorgeous melodies like these. Most popular songs are “love” songs and Michael Jackson’s are no exception, but this one may very well be his best.

my rating : 5 of 5

1982

audio review : Thriller ( album ) ... Michael Jackson

video review : Aerial America : Florida

video review : Aerial America : Florida

This Smithsonian Channel documentary, an episode of Aerial America, is all about Florida, my favorite state. It overlooks some notable cities in favor of hot spots like Miami, but it’s an interesting watch all the while.

It’s also somewhat educational as narrator Jim Conrad gives a history lesson on everything from important events like the 1565 settlement of Saint Augustine to trivial newsbits like the killing of Gianni Versace.

my rating : 4 of 5

2012